Deji Elumoye and Chuks Okocha in Abuja
The death of the Chief of Staff to the President, Mallam Abba Kyari, following complications from Coronavirus pandemic, has elicited reaction from prominent Nigerians including former President Olusegun Obasanjo; President of the Senate, Dr Ahmad Lawan; Deputy President of the Senate, Senator Ovie Omo-Agege and his predecessor, Senator Ike Ekweremadu.
In separate condolence messages, Obasanjo, Lawan and the two other ranking Senators mourned Kyari who they described as a strong pillar of the Buhari administration.
Obasanjo, in a one-page condolence letter personally signed by him on Saturday and addressed to President Muhammadu Buhari, said “I received the news of the demise of Alhaji Abba Kyari, your Chief of Staff, over Friday night, with great sadness, as he lost the battle against the dreadful killer disease, COVID-19.
“Abba Kyari’s death must be painful to you and to his family and friends, but you can all take solace in the fact that he died in harness, in the service of his country.
His death must be a solemn reminder to all of us that COVID-19 requires all hands on deck soberly, cooperatively, humanly, humanely, justly, equitably, fairly, consolidatedly and comprehensively to be able to fight it successfully and to get all Nigerians back to good health and healthy economy.
God will give you and Abba Kyari’s family and friends the fortitude to bear the irreparable loss. May Allah receive his soul.”
Also reacting, President of the Senate, stated that he received with shock and sadness the news of the passing on of Kyari.
While expressing his heartfelt condolence to Kyari’s family over the great loss, Lawan also condoled with President Buhari over the death of Kyari, “a very competent, dedicated and loyal aide, who was a pillar in his administration”.
According to him, Kyari drew from his experiences as a lawyer who was called to the Bar in 1983, a banker and a journalist to become an administrator par excellence who did his best as the topmost aide of the President.
The Senate President said Kyari was very deep, firm, focused and unassuming in his national assignment until his death.
“He was a man of deep convictions and courage who understood his role and performed it with uncommon dedication and effectiveness.
“He shared the values of President Buhari and his passion for the emancipation of the poor in Nigeria and the all-round development of the country for the benefit of all its people.
“Mallam Kyari played his role well and will always be appreciated, more so now that the Almighty Allah has called time on his earthly sojourn,” Lawan said.
On his part, Senator Omo-Agege posited that death has dealt Nigeria a very rude shock with the passing on of Kyari. He, therefore, stressed that Nigerians must pray for divine help for President Muhammadu Buhari in charting the way forward.
Omo-Agege expressed sadness that Kyari who had been one of the President’s major pillars of support, succumbed to the Coronavirus disease.
“Malam Kyari was a very hardworking patriot. I still recall his last official statement in which he admonished us all about the Coronavirus pandemic’s virulent threat to everyone without any consideration for class, creed or
place of origin.
“There is no doubt about his encompassing influence and bold imprints in the conduct of official affairs at the Presidency over the past five years.
“Sadly, his exit came at a time when the world is reeling under unprecedented challenges and at a time when his counsel is most needed. “Clearly, such grave loss will be deeply felt by President Muhammadu Buhari and we should pray that God Almighty grant Mr. President and Malam Kyari’s family the strength to bear this irreparable loss”, the Deputy Senate President said.
Also reacting, former Deputy President of the Senate, Senator Ike Ekweremadu, while joining other well meaning Nigerians to mourn Kyari took to his Twitter handle, @iamekweremadu on Saturday to express deep sadness and heartfelt condolences to Kyari’s immediate family and President Buhari, also prayed God to grant the soul of the deceased eternal repose.
He said: “I am deeply saddened by the news of the passing on of the Chief of Staff to President Muhammadu Buhari, Mallam Abba Kyari. It is a heavy loss to The Presidency and the nation, which he gave his all.
“My heartfelt condolences go to his family, the Presidency, and the entire nation. May his soul rest in peace. Amen”.